The World Poetry Café with producer and host Ariadne Sawyer, co-host Neall Ryon, engineer Victor Schwartzman and volunteer Sharon Rowe, welcomed the talented, lovely dancer and healer, Koyali Burman to the World Poetry Café Radio Show on October 13, 1-2 pm PST, CFRO 100.5 FM.
It was a wonderful show with tips on Indian Classical Dance , healing and poetry, a poem by Kabi Joy Goswami , e-poem by Lini Grul and a review of Two Trains Runnin’ with producer Daniel Hedin, a Canadian Premier film at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
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Koyali Burman holds a Master of Arts degree from University of British Columbia. Through her full time job she is extensively promoting Social and Economic Development that supports innovation and business growth. Besides her professional career, Koyali is an accomplished Kathak dancer a North Indian classical dance form. From a tender age of 3, she was fascinated to this dance form. She was trained in Kathak under the able guidance of the disciple of Guru Acchhan Maharaj who is the father of the Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj. She has also learned Rabindra Nritya, a dance style initiated by RabindranathTagore. She was honoured with the Sangeet Ratna (Jewel of Dance) award by the University of Ravindra Bharathi in Calcutta. Koyali has been featured in numerous Television, stage performances and radio interview in India and Vancouver. Her performances were published in popular news prints in India. She has directed and choreographed many innovative pieces, which reflect both.
Koyali’s Tips for health!
“I was fortunate to be born and brought up in a liberal minded Bengali family. My mom recognized my inclination to dance when I was1.5 yrs old. She saw me move rhythmically whenever ever she turned on the radio. This was when my mom decided my interest in dance. My mom is the driving force of who I am today and my father is also very supportive. Without their support I would not have learned dance. My parents had done the right thing for me.
My first guru Bena Moitra who is the disciple of Acchan Maharaj the father of Kathak maestro Pt. Birju Maharaj. I completed B.Muse from Bathkand University, Lucknow Mmuse from Rabindra Bharati Univ Kolkata.
She introduced me to the world of Kathak at the age of 3yrs and helped me to take baby steps in dance.
So, looking back, music and dance had virtually been a way of life while growing up. I was not even conscious about it. It is like a fish not knowing that it is immersed in water. Although performing arts were a way of life for me, having a good education was the first priority.
What changes did you see in dance over the years?
Over the years many changes happened in dance form. “ Well, there are many changes — most of them good. “As long as the basic technique and the signatures of the art form are not compromised, such changes are healthy. What pains me though at times is the rampant commercialization at the cost of creativity. On the brighter side, learning Kathak or any other classical dance form has become fairly common in all parts of India and abroad, and by people from every kind of socioeconomic background.
What keeps you going? Lots of people ask me this question- what keeps me going?“A lot of things! Gratitude, satisfaction and passion. Gratitude towards my parents and God — that I could pursue dance all my life in spite of coming to Canada and pursure my academic and keep dance going all along the way.
It gives me immense satisfaction and pleasure that I could keep performing, teaching and speak about benefits of Indian classical dance “It is satisfying that I could come in contact with Ariadne Sawyer and world poetry association who always encouraged me to speak about dance and keep going. Dance, like any other art form is a Sadhana (pursuit with a total commitment) to connect directly with God. One has to follow the Three Ds to excel: devotion, dedication and discipline. There are no other shortcuts.”
Here are Six reasons for learning Indian classical dance immediately:
1. Teaches us to be patient. We all seek instant gratification because we live in the age of technology and speed. But that hasn’t changed the way life is – you still need to wait for your job, for a partner perhaps, for the right time, for things to fall into place.
Practicing an Indian classical dance form will teach you patience instantly – and that will help you to deal with life. It’s just that everything takes time, and you learn that while dancing!
2. To focus on the present. Indianclassical dances are about understanding the mind-body-soul connection. When you practice these dance forms, you are basically training your mind to focus on one thing for extended periods of time.
This shall always keep you in the present and aware of the present moment.
3. To be healthier. Yes, there are a lot of dances and exercises out there that help you lose weight instantly. But when you practice Indian classical dance forms, you not only build muscle strength and endurance, but also learn to breathe better.
4. To be disciplined. Yes, it requires you to go home and practice beyond the classes with your teacher, because the idea is for you to understand your own body, different rhythms and yourself. Most importantly, it is all about timing because that’s what you learn when you coordinate with rhythms. That’s how it induces discipline, which then spreads to other aspects of your life.
5. To stop reacting. In your daily life, you feel anger, sadness, happiness, love, excitement and so on; Indian classical dances give you a cathartic release of these emotions. While performing several emotional roles, you will start understanding the connection between emotions – mind and body. This will help you in observing your emotions better, and then of course, you will stop reacting and start acting productively.
6. To be more flexible. Indian, classical dances – tone your thighs, your pelvis, arms, torso and so on, of course, each dance form stresses on different combination of muscles, so choose the one you feel comfortable with. When you keep training your body and muscles regularly, it is bound to improve your flexibility.
Statement: I believe real dance is when you are sync with mind, body and spirit. “Meditation in motion”. Dance brings me closer to myself.I no longer dance for fame or name. I dance with an inner joy. As I experience this joy, I’m sure to spread it across to others too.”